University of Missouri was founded in 1839 in Columbia, Mo., as the first public university west of the Mississippi River and the first state university in Thomas Jefferson's Louisiana Purchase territory. Today, MU is a $2.1 billion enterprise and an important investment for the state and nation. MU provides all the benefits of two universities in one: It's a major land-grant institution with a statewide mission of service to citizens and Missouri's largest public research university. Considered one of the nation's top-tier institutions, Mizzou is the flagship campus of the four-campus University of Missouri System. It is one of only 34 public universities, and the only public institution in Missouri, to be selected for membership in the Association of American Universities. Mizzou has a diverse enrollment with 35,000 students from every county in Missouri, every state in the nation and 120 countries. The favorite classroom for the best and brightest, Mizzou attracts more valedictorians, Curators Scholars and Bright Flight Scholars than any other college or university in Missouri. Twenty-six percent of MU freshmen come from the top 10 percent of their high school classes. MU’s nationally prominent faculty bring discoveries into the classroom, publish more than 1,600 books and scholarly articles each year and spend about $235 million annually on scientific research; they account for 70 percent of the research dollars flowing to Missouri public universities. Ninety-two percent of full-time, ranked faculty hold doctorates or the highest degree in their field.